July 7, 2022

Can you guess what is pictured in the photo above? Click the image for the answer and more.

It was a strange Independence Day to be watching from abroad, given the shooting at the Highland Park parade. As far as I could tell, it received relatively little coverage in the French media, as if this kind of violence in America is so common it’s taken as a given here.

Washtenaw County recently suffered two shootings as well, one of them fatal, Ann Arbor for Public Power won a victory when the mayor withdrew a nominee to the energy commission, and the police and fire departments held a camp to get girls interested in becoming first responders. EMU proposed a $200 million investment in student housing, Mallek’s service closed, U-M named a new baseball coach, and USC and UCLA announced they’re joining the Big Ten.

Dayton Hare, editor

Mallek’s current and former staff gather at Mallek's Service: Dan Durand, Alan Richardson, Ross Moran, Danny Hoppe, Ted Kleinert, Talan Straub, David Christman, and Bren Straub. The station closed on June 30. Photo: J. Adrian Wylie.

The News...Briefly

An Ypsi Township man was killed while streaming on Facebook Live last week, ClickOnDetroit reports. Terrell Smith, made a local celebrity by his streams, was claimed in a barrage of over thirty bullets after exchanging heated words with someone commenting on the stream. A 24-year-old male suspect was arrested in Georgia on July 1, along with two women charged as conspirators, MLive reports (subscriber exclusive).

A shooting in Ann Arbor damaged four homes in the Pinelake Village Cooperative Friday, MLive reports (subscriber exclusive). Nobody was injured in the early morning shooting. There is no known motive, and police ask the public for help in identifying the shooter: call 734-794-6939 or email tips@a2gov.org.

The county’s Covid-19 snapshot reports 1,228 cases in the two weeks ending yesterday, almost the same as last week’s 1,224. The county was bumped up to a “medium” CDC risk level, however, from last week’s low. The weekly test positivity rate is 13 percent according to MI Safe Start, and there are 198.3 cases per 100,000 residents.

Only heart attacks and cancer have killed more people than Covid in Washtenaw since March ‘20, Jim Leonard reports in the July Observer. By mid-June, the virus had killed 524 people in the county. But spring’s Omicron wave has been mild compared to the earlier Delta, and while Washtenaw often reports more cases per capita than neighboring counties, deaths are lower.

Mayor Taylor withdrew a nomination to the energy commission Tuesday under pressure, MLive reports (subscriber exclusive). Demonstrators outside city hall rallied by Ann Arbor for Public Power opposed naming Knox Cameron to the commission because they believe his employer, DTE Energy, has an adverse relationship with the city’s sustainability goals.

Recycling inspectors are making the rounds in Ann Arbor starting Monday, ClickOnDetroit reports. As we mentioned last week, the city has new recycling rules, and the inspectors will check curbside bins for forbidden items, tagging non-compliers with “oops” stickers explaining how to fix it. Bins that don’t pass muster a second time won’t be serviced until the items are removed.

The Ann Arbor Home Electrification Expo is coming next Thursday. According to the city, attendees “will learn about electrification and how they can improve their homes' energy efficiency and health while reducing their carbon footprint.” It’s 5-9 p.m. at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, and there will be food trucks and live music.

The E. Delhi bridge closure  has been delayed till next week due to a contractor scheduling issue. The Maple Rd. bridge closed as planned. The E. Delhi closure is expected to last about two weeks, while Maple is anticipated to be twelve.

Independence Lake Beach closed this week due to high levels of E. coli bacteria. The bacteria was discovered during routine testing, and the beach closure will remain until testing shows a safe level for swimming.

A camp introduced teen girls to first responder careers last week, MLive reports. The Blaze and Blue camp invited girls ages thirteen to seventeen to participate in activities led by local firefighters and police officers. The departments plan to hold the event again next year.

EMU plans to invest $200 million to revamp student housing, ClickOnDetroit reports. EMU Campus Living will build two new residence halls and renovate existing dorms. If the Board of Trustees approves, construction will begin this summer.

The Ypsilanti District Library launched an eclectic collection of household items, Concentrate reports. Inspired by the AADL’s tools collection, the YDL’s “Library of Things” has everything from board games to garden tools and an Elmo cake pan.

The Wolverines will have new adversaries come 2024 as USC and UCLA join the Big Ten, MGoBlue reports. The surprise announcement last week brings the number of B1G members to sixteen, reshaping the landscape of U.S. college football.

Tracy Smith is Michigan’s new baseball coach, the Michigan Daily reports. Smith has 34 years of coaching experience at Miami-Middletown, Miami University, Indiana University, and Arizona State. He’ll start off in rebuilding mode: after Clemsen hired away former coach Erik Bakich, the Daily writes, “10 players entered the transfer portal and nine recruits rescinded their commitments.”

David Zinn’s chalk art has more than 22 million “likes” on TikTok, Jan Schlain reports in the July Observer. Subject to the rain, Zinn’s art is ephemeral, and he says, “Professionally I’m a photographer . . . Because that’s what I sell in books and put on social media.” Though TikTok has spread Zinn’s art worldwide, his life and tax bracket haven’t changed: “TikTok contains a lot of wonderfully supportive communities, but generally speaking, being ‘famous’ on the internet is like having thousands of friends who will never help you move a couch,” he says.

The Food Hub’s Ryan Poe talks to customer Cheryl Sabol. The response to their soft opening encouraged them to add more retail hours; Poe says they hope to open every day before long. Photo: Mark Bialek.

Marketplace Changes

Mallek’s Service, the iconic corner gas station/garage between Jackson and Dexter roads, closed June 30, Sandor Slomovits reports in the July Observer. Following the death of longtime owner John Mendler last fall, his employees continued to run Mallek’s until the estate was processed. “We tried to keep the station running the way John did,” head mechanic Dan Durand told Slomivits. “ We’ll walk out of here with our heads held high.”

The Food Hub’s soft retail opening has been a success, Cynthia Furlong Reynolds reports in the July Observer. Open on Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings, the sale features locally grown and made foods, expanding the Food Hub’s goal of creating an “educational, sustainable, and social network for the surrounding community.” They hope to open daily later this summer.

Evergreen Chinese restaurant will hold a soft opening of its new downtown location on Friday, according to an employee reached by phone. On W. Liberty next to Bill’s Beer Garden, it takes the place of Chow, and specializes in Northern Chinese, Sichuan, Hunan, Shanghai, and Taiwan cuisine. Takeout will be available in the mornings with dine-in available in the evenings.

The new downtown location of Evergreen Chinese hosts its soft opening tomorrow. Photo: Dayton Hare.


Bitty & Beau’s Coffee hosts interviews this weekend ahead of its summer opening on S. Main St., ClickOnDetroit reports. The cafe will employ people aged sixteen and older who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. Interviews take place at the Michigan Union, and those interested are asked to register.

Things to Do

By Jennifer Taylor

8 Friday: See a staged reading of “Harvey” by the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre. This 1944 Mary Chase comedy (and 1950 film starring Jimmy Stewart) examines the sanity of a charming man who insists that his best friend is a six-foot-tall invisible rabbit. Proceeds benefit A2CT as it resumes in-person programming. 7:30 p.m., A2CT Studio, 322 W. Ann St. Mask and proof of vaccination required. Tickets $20 in advance at a2ct.org/events-1, by phone, & at the door. 971-2228.

9 Saturday: Join over 1,000 bicyclists in the 44th AnnualOne Helluva Ride,” sponsored by the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society. Includes routes of 40, 63, 100 miles over paved roads and a 40-mile unpaved ride on gravel roads. There’s a post-ride lunch buffet and live music at the Chelsea Fairgrounds. Riders may leave the starting point anytime between 6:45 and 10 a.m., Chelsea Fairgrounds, Old US-12 at Manchester Rd., Chelsea. Entry fees: $50 (youth ages 7–17, $25; kids 6 & under, free) day of ride. Fill out form at aabts.org/ohr to streamline your entry. 273–9543.

10 Sunday: Hear a barn concert at Rancho Tranquilico by the Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet. Local bassist Sharp leads this world music-based jazz ensemble that explores traditions from Turkey, Egypt, Ukraine, India, Bulgaria and Greece. With guitarist Al Ayoub, violinist Henrik Karapetyan, and percussionist Mike List. BYOB and a small folding chair. Dancing. No tobacco or pets. 5:30 p.m. (doors 5 p.m.), 11300 Island Lake Rd., Dexter. Parking in Ruhlig’s Country Market driveway. Full vaccination (or negative Covid test within 72 hours) required. $25 in advance only (space limited), payable via Venmo @Dave-Sharp-4 or CashApp $DaveSharp4. blonik13@aol.com, 223–2321.

See the Observer’s online calendar for many more local events.

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